Virginia: Confusing “proprietary” FOIA exemption proves tricky to change

It seems that two and a half years may not prove enough time to coalesce Virginia's various ideas of what constitutes a trade secret into a single code section that clarifies, among other things, what documents companies that do business with the government can shield from public view.

Five meetings of a working group dedicated to the issue have failed to reach consensus between state agencies that currently have their own varying ideas of what constitutes a proprietary record not subject to release under the state's Freedom of Information Act. Now the study subcommittee that tasked this working group to the issue will take one more stab at the matter before abandoning it to move on to other still-pending questions in a three year review of the open records laws that is slated to wrap this year. Continue…